Helene Carter has always been making things and has been exploring copper enamelling techniques since 2007. Her inspiration comes from the gardens, forests and colorful characters of the Kootenays. Traditional textiles and patterns also inspire ideas, as do the materials themselves; the fluid quality of the melting glass and the metallic glint of the copper.
The FireWorks Copper Enamel workshop is located upstairs in the Forge and Furnace Gallery and Studios in Crawford Bay, BC where customers are invited into the studios to watch enamelling, blacksmithing and pottery.
Glass powders are fired onto pure copper in an electric kiln. At 1600 F the glass melts and fuses to the copper. Flowing patterns that suggest waves, feathers or fire are made by scrolling a red-hot iron rod through the molten glass. Transparent glass allows the rich warm colour of the copper to shine through. Several firings are required to complete each design.